Young Jeffery comes running in the house on the freshly mopped tile floor, his mom looks up and energetically says, “Be careful!” Mumbling he whispers, “Why?” continuing on as he looks over his shoulder at her, just when he slips and falls head long into the corner of the kitchen table. “So that you don’t slip and fall.”
I appreciate how the word of God is so very practical. We find that God gives insight and instruction with purpose. Often that purpose is just to know His un-limited love. Did you know the VERY significant itty bitty phrase “so that” occurs 747 times in the Bible. Yes, I looked at each one, (with a few mugs of mint hot cocoa mind you) Let’s open our bibles and look at EVERY one! (just kidding) “Perseverance must finish its work SO THAT you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” ( Ja. 1:4 emphasis mine) It’s not just our Father saying, “Because I said so” God has a reason!
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, SO THAT the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Tim. 3:16-17
Paul prays “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, SO THAT you may know Him better” – Eph. 1:17 You may know Him better, that is some great ‘purpose.’
Paul’s story is FULL of ‘so that’s.’ “For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, (don’t you just love the ‘But when God’) who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me SO THAT I might preach him among the Gentiles.” – Gal. 1:13-16 (excited commentary, my interjection)
‘Hina’ (hee-naw) is ‘so that ‘in the Greek, conveys ‘demonstrative idea’, meaning, forward thinking, I am telling you this because… impling cause and affect, one might say a huge street sign of sorts. “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, SO THAT we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Heb. 4:16 “These things I (Jesus) have spoken to you SO THAT you will not go astray.” – Jn 16:1 Think if you will, if we failed to approach the throne of grace, or heed the words of Jesus, what would our experience be? Cause and affect.
Those who do not know God or His word find the bible a ‘rule’ book, full of ‘Thou shall nots..” Yet we who do know Him, know it is all said for our good. God is, does, and gives ‘so that ….’ All this is God Fathering us. Let’s face it, God doesn’t need a reason and notice He doesn’t pull the “I AM THAT I AM” card, because “I” said so. “Walk in the ways of the Lord your God, SO THAT you may live and prosper.” –Deut. 5:33
“Put on the full armor of God SO THAT you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” – Eph. 6:11 Use the Word I gave you, so you are ARMED against the Liar, Killer and Destroyer!
May we take notice, read the signs and understand ALL He has to say to us, even the itty-bitty words. God has a reason!
In Him, DeDe (Breaking it down so that “… we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)